'In-between' Asia and Australia: On the politics of teaching English as the 'Other'

Aaron Soon Lee KOH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article mobilizes story-telling to narrate my lived experience of teaching English as a minority academic in one Australian university. Positioning myself as living ‘in-between’ two cultures and as an ‘Other’, I tell my story of how I have been ‘racialized’ and ‘Othered’ because I do not look White, and my spoken English is distinctly accented; hence, my legitimacy of teaching English is held suspect. My story contributes to the theorizing of the sociology of the in-between with the argument that while living in-between culture can be a space of negativity, it can also be a space of empowerment if one exercises choice and agency by forging new spaces. I end my story-telling with a happy ending by presenting a contrasting story of how my run-away from Australia to (a new space in) Hong Kong to teach English has reaffirmed my cultural capital as I morph into a different ‘Other’. Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-178
JournalDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

Citation

Koh, A. (2012). 'In-between' Asia and Australia: On the politics of teaching English as the 'Other'. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33(2), 167-178.

Keywords

  • Story-telling
  • ‘Other’/‘Othering’
  • Autobiography
  • Third space politics
  • English language teaching
  • Racism

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